More than two decades after releasing her classic video for “Opposites Attract,” Paula Abdul recreated the clip’s cheese-tastic choreography with James Corden on Tuesday’s Late Late Show. The singer, wearing a late Eighties-styled white pantsuit, brought those dance moves back to life with Corden, who slapped on a fake tail and whiskers to approximate cartoon character MC Skat Kat.
The duo lip synced the 1988 dance-pop tune – a Number One hit from Abdul’s debut LP, Forever Your Girl – as they visited the video’s key moments, including fumbling with the sheets in bed and hanging out on an alley bench. Abdul and the surprisingly limber Corden nailed the major choreography beats, ending the segment by celebrating in the crowd.
The “Opposites Attract” video, directed by Candace Reckinger and Michael Patterson, won a 1991 Grammy Award for “Best Short Form Music Video.” The clip was inspired by Gene Kelly’s dance with Jerry Mouse (of Tom and Jerry fame) from the 1945 musical comedy film Anchors Aweigh. Abdul paid tribute to Kelly, her idol, with choreography at the 62nd Annual Academy Awards in 1990.
“It was by this time that my dream came true,” she told Yahoo Music last year. “After I choreographed the ‘Opposites Attract’ video, that sold like 6 million more albums for me. It was crazy, because that was not even supposed to be a single. But I needed to pay tribute to Gene Kelly. I had paid tribute to Bob Fosse, but I had to do something for Gene Kelly. I’ve often found that when you walk with gratitude, miracles can happen; all I’d ever wanted to do was meet Gene Kelly, and I dedicated the ‘Opposites Attract’ video to him, and two days later he called me and asked me over for tea. And then we became real, true friends. I got to have tea with him every week, the last two years of his life.”